TANZANIA'S Under- 23 team test South Sudan hurdle today in the 2021 CECAFA Youth Challenge Cup semi-final at Bahri Dar International Stadium in Ethiopia.
Tanzania sailed to the CECAFA semis after commanding its group with four points following a 1-0 victory against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 1-1 draw over Uganda in the same venue.
Following its command in group A, the Tanzanian Head Coach Kim Poulsen asserted that they are happy to step in the semifinals as their group was tough, insisting that they will not underrate South Sudan.
"We are very happy to qualify for the semi-finals because our preparations were close to zero since the Tanzania Premier League has just ended. We were also in a tough group, and we surely battled strongly to make it to the next stage.I think Uganda also deserved to be in the semi-final because they play well. We shall not underrate our opponents South Sudan whom we face in the semi-final. We shall have to approach the semi-final match very differently."
In another development, Tanzania's first-choice goalkeeper Boniface Mnata Metacha will miss the semi-final clash following his suspension after accumulating two yellow cards in the group games against DRC and Uganda.
Tanzania will then have to adjust to either opt for Daniel Mgore or Wilbol Changarawe.
Following the suspension, Poulsen noted, "It's unfortunate that Metacha will miss the semifinal clash because he put up a good show in the two games. But we shall adjust the team accordingly," Their opponents, South Sudan, stepped in the semis after picking the runner-up of Group B.
They faced a 2-0 defeat from Kenya Emerging Stars on their first encounter and later won 2-0 over Djibouti. The regional tournament began this month on the 18th, and its climax sets to be July 30th.
After the first semi-final encounter, Group B leader Burundi will take over Group C leader Kenya at Bahri Dar International Stadium in Ethiopia. Burundi led Group B after accumulating four points; they picked a 3-0 victory against Eritrea before collecting a 1-1 draw over Ethiopia's host team.
Kenya, on their side, picked a 3-0 win over Djibouti and a 2-0 victory against South Sudan.